Archive for July, 2009

Ill(er) in Manila

Sunday, July 26th, 2009

Well I should be careful what I complain about.

Shortly after writing my last post, complaining about how expensive it was, I came down with a stomach bug (not sure what it was, maybe food poisioning, maybe just something going round). A weekend of feeling terrible followed by a week of antiboitics and limited appetite really cuts down on the spending. Although I did find the local doctor, who was very helpful. I think I’ve now been to the doctor more times in two months here then I managed in five years in Edinburgh.

Still, I feel much better, Now I’m just knackered from work, 7am meetings four days a week (with a customer in the US) really don’t suit me. Plus all the various things I have to do mean I don’t even get to leave early. Hopefully this is a temporary situation that can be resolved once we’ve appeased our (understandably) cranky customer.

I did what I always do when I think I’m working too much — book a holiday! Actualy that’s what I do when I’m bored and working too little. I’ve never really needed an excuse to book a holiday.

So now I’ve got an five day trip to Tokyo to look forward to in November. It’s a few months away but I’ve got a couple of jaunts back to Europe before then, and a seamingly endless procession of visitors to the office will cause enough distruption to keep me busy until then even if we can cut down the early-morning calls.

Illness, tiredness and rain have all prevented me from doing anything interesting in Manila. I’m begining to think I’ll just never get round to it — like living in Edinburgh and never visiting the tourist parts.

Almost a millionaire …

Tuesday, July 14th, 2009

It occurred to me today that, due to some rearrangement of my finances, I almost had enough money to make me a millionaire in Pesos. Sadly the money was still in pounds and at least half of it disappeared to clear other debts almost as soon as it arrived.

This occurred to me while I was doing some budgeting, and I was budgeting because I finally have a contract. Not only do I have a contract I’m also now, apparently, on the Manila payroll. I think I now officially work here.

Sadly this means that I’m no longer on expenses, the company still pays for my accommodation, utility bills and so on. But now food, transport and day-to-day stuff comes out my pocket. Booze always came out of my pocket (mostly) so no change there.

The bill for the first ten days of the month leads me to discover that Manila isn’t as cheap as I thought, even discounting my weekend poker and pub crawling, it still mounts up. Maybe I’m just shopping in the wrong places, or maybe it’s just living in the capital.

It doesn’t matter anyway, I have to stop thinking in pounds, I have a monthly budget in pesos which is more than enough. Still whichever way I look at it, Manila’s a cheap place to live. Not expensive, just not as cheap as I thought it would be. Maybe I should just start winning at poker.

I guess I should add a bit about how I’m doing. Work is mad, Manila is fun, and I’ve finally moved into a nice new apartment which has internet. Not very good internet, lousy for Skype, but it’s still internet.

I know that’s not a great update but now I’m more sorted I’ll try and do some more posting about life over here. I must remember to take my camera out with me and get some pictures.